AUGUSTA — There was a story behind the tearful embrace Skowhegan’s Brandon Corson shared with teammate Kaleb Austin on Saturday.

Corson had just won the 160-pound Class A wrestling state championship, eking out a 4-3 win against Noble’s Jonathan Badger. A few minutes earlier Austin had suffered a crushing defeat in the 140-pound final to Noble’s Ben Valencia after leading for all but the last 10 seconds of the third period.

It was Austin’s first loss of the season.

“I just wanted to win it for him,” Corson said. “For him to go out — he was winning his match the whole way — right at the end he got stuck. I was a little upset, I just wanted to win it for him.”

Corson suffered his only defeat of the season two weeks ago to eventual Class B state champion Jacob Powers of Camden Hills at the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference championships. He and Badger were each seeded first in the respective divisions and neither was willing to take a chance of making a mistake as they entered the third and final period in a scoreless tie.

“It was a tough match, really tough,” said Corson, who scored the first two points with a reversal.

Badger tied the match with a reversal of his own and within two seconds Corson had a second reversal to take a 4-2 lead. An escape by Badger made it 4-3 and it stayed that way as neither wrestler could gain an advantage.

Austin and Valencia were also No. 1 seeds in their regions, but it appeared the Skowhegan senior might win his match when he scored an escape and a takedown in the third period to take a 5-2 lead. But Valencia scored an escape to draw to within 5-3 and followed his match-tying reversal with a pin of Austin with just four seconds left.

Noble easily won the Class A title, its 11th in the past 13 years, topping runner-up Marshwood by 55 points. Eastern Maine champion Mt. Blue finished a distant sixth after a serious bout with illness during the week.

“We did about what I figured we’d do after we had seven guys sick all week,” Mt. Blue coach Bob O’Coonor said. “Our gas tank was really, really low today.”

Khalil Newbill placed third for the Cougars at 112 pounds while junior Joey Metcalf took third at 215. Fourth-place finishes went to Nicholas Hyde (119), Kevin Moore (125) and Drew Blanchet (135).

Skowhegan finished a half-point behind Mt. Blue, getting a surprise runner-up from sophomore Andrew Pineo at 189. Cony’s Will Lundquist, who won the 135-pound title, was named the outstanding wrestler in Class A.

Mountain Valley won Class B, its first title since 2007, while Camden Hills took second.

Maine Central Institute’s Britton Moholland reached the 160-pound final, where he was pinned by Powers, who is unbeaten this season. MCI also got a fourth place from Ryan Gamblin at 135. Belfast’s Brent Waterman, who won at 125, was named outstanding wrestler.

Foxcroft Academy nipped three-time defending champion Lisbon by six points for the Class C title. Madison’s Jacob Campbell finished second at 152 while teammate Ryan Malcolm placed second at 189. Kyle Foley took third for the Bulldogs at 160.

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

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